Friday, September 22, 2017

Back to fishing

The first brown of the evening
I have been out a couple times in the last few weeks taking advantage of the pre-fall like weather in both the Adirondacks and in southern New England.  This is one of my favorite times of year for both fishing and hiking.  So for a change of pace, I decided to head up to the Houstatonic river and see how it was fishing. I arrived late afternoon with hopes of casting dry flies large and small to rising fish.  It took a while to get going but fish started rising as the afternoon turned toward evening.  I did manage to observe one fish that was rising in the same general location so I settled in to figure out what this particular fish was feeding on.  After drifting the isonychia emerger several times right over where I had observed the rises, I downsized to small olive dries and wets and went down in tippet size to 6x but still failed to attract any interest.  At this point in the evening there were a good number of summer steno spinners hovering over the water.  This is a scenerio I had seen before so I switched to a #16 pale parachute and got a decent drift and the fish was on it!  It turned out to be a very healthy brown in excellent condition with all the fins intact, possibly a hold-over.  I stuck with the parachute but didn't see any more rises but I did have a fish slam the parachute as I was pulling it back in to make another cast.  It felt like a decent sized fish and it hit the fly so hard that it broke the fly off.

I rested for a while and observed, searching for other fish rising in the area.  Upstream a bit there was a father and daughter fishing over a group of steadily rising fish so I moved below them to watch and see if there were any fish that were outside of the area they were working, not wanting to crowd them.  Both he and his daughter had caught a few fish, and I think the young lady may have caught here first trout on a dry fly, judging from her Dad's excitement while she was bringing it to the net.  I just love seeing Dad's out with their children!  The rises had become more subtle which sometimes indicates that the fish are taking spinners so I switched to a #16 pale spinner and picked up a few more nice browns and a couple of rainbows.

The highlight of the evening was when I overheard the father say to his daughter, "one more fly change and I'm done".  He was clearly getting frustrated trying to figure out what the fish were sipping.  I asked him if he had any #16 pale spinners and offered him one if he didn't.  He said he had some spinners and within a few casts he had a beast of a brown on the line.  He was able to get it to net with the help of his daughter and it was a pleasure to watch them take a few pictures, release the fish, and then head back to there car satisfied to have had a nice evening on the river together.

12 comments:

  1. Mark
    Nice outing you had. Always enjoyable to fish with one's son or daughter and catch a few.

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    1. Pete - Yes it was and really nice to see a father and daughter enjoying the river together!

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  2. Mark, sounds like the two of you had a wonderful experience. That area of our state is beautiful. The Housy is truly a "big river"

    There is a little stream up that way that I haven't fished in a long time...perhaps we can check it out one day.

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    1. Alan - that sounds wonderful, that corner of the state is still very new to me!

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  3. Mark
    A lot of us could see ourselves doing some of the same things you did here on this outing; when trying to get a take especially from sipping subsurface and surface feeding trout-------------the reward is landing a few, which you did----certainly a learning experience. Thanks for sharing

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    1. Bill - I would have to admit, finally hooking that first fish was very satisfying and the hefty burble when it took the fly told me right off that it was decent fish.

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  4. Great story, Mark! I am glad that you figured out what the trout were rising to and that you connected. I am also glad the father and daughter were catching fish too, especially the big on when you suggested the right fly to the Dad.

    Regards, Sam

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    1. Sam - the two most satisfying moments were figuring out what the first was taking and then suggesting the spinner to the gentleman and watching him connect with a nice fish

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  5. Oh the power of observation, I really enjoy the sequence of events to come to a successful outing. Sounds like you were able make several people happy through your gracious help. Great story, thankyou.

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    1. Brad - sometimes a great day for me is being some help to others and seeing them enjoy being on a river

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  6. A perfect ending to a good time on the water!

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